Zoe secures vital three points

Zoe Hawthorne.
Zoe Hawthorne.

Belfast Harlequins 0 Lurgan 1

Lurgan got back to winning ways and recorded their third win in four matches with this crucial victory over Belfast Harlequins at Deramore last Wednesday night.

This result lifts Lurgan to fourth place in the Premier League and should virtually guarantee them their position in the league next season, but such is the bizarre situation of so many teams involved in this mid-table battle to steer clear of a play-off position, nothing is certain. However Lurgan’s display of skill, determination and fighting qualities should stand them in good stead for the remaining four league matches.

The first half was almost totally dominated by Lurgan, as they created several good goal scoring opportunities, were awarded three penalty corners, rounded the keeper and still failed to find the back of the net. Most of the play was focussed in the Quins final third of the pitch but Lurgan couldn’t find a way through a stubborn defence who rode their luck at times.

Lurgan continued on the offensive in the second half and their perseverance was rewarded with a well taken goal in the 43rd minute. Forward Kathryn Edgar broke down the left and fired a dangerous ball across the circle which fell to fellow striker Zoe Hawthorne, Zoe’s initial strike was saved but she kept her composure and fired home the re-bound to put her side in front. She really should have made it 2-0 five minutes later when she rounded the keeper but the ball ran away from her and the chance was missed. One nil is a precarious lead and Quins came into the game more in the final quarter as they began to enjoy more possession and looked dangerous on the break. Lurgan’s central defenders Charlene Hull and Louise Murray stood firm and made some important tackles and interventions to protect the lead. Lurgan also welcomed back defender Emma Quinn after a lengthy injury and she put in a solid display on what was a difficult night. Midfielders Sarah McClure, Emma Lindsay and Carly Johnston put in some sterling work winning possession and tackling back to help their defence but overall it was a great all round team performance and a pleasing three valuable points for coach Lisa Costley and team manager Darwin Murray.